(PUEBLO, Colo.) — The 10th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CRIT) has been activated to investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting early Wednesday morning on March 1, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, deputies responded to North Mesa Elementary School in East Pueblo County on reports of shots fired from a home north of the school in the 900 block of 29th Lane at approximately 3:40 p.m. The home is adjacent to the school playground, according to deputies.
Classes had already been dismissed for the day, but some students and staff remained at the school. The school was placed on lockdown for about an hour while deputies investigated the shots fired call. All students and staff were safely escorted from the school by sheriff’s deputies.
While investigating the incident, deputies learned students were on the playground at the time a man fired the shots at the home. Deputies attempted to contact the suspect at his residence, but the suspect refused to speak to them and threatened deputies with a gun.
Once search warrants were issued, PCSO SWAT team was activated to execute the warrants due to the public safety risk for nearby homes and the school. SWAT team and negotiators attempted for several hours to communicate with the suspect to get him to surrender peacefully with repeated verbal commands, according to PCSO.
The SWAT team deployed gas into the home, but the suspect still refused to comply. As SWAT team members entered the home, the suspect leveled a gun in the direction of deputies and shots were fired, says PCSO.
No deputies were injured, but the suspect was pronounced dead. The name of the suspect will be released by the Pueblo County Coroner’s Office at a later time.
The names of the deputies involved are not being released at this time. Two deputies have been placed on administrative leave as per standard operating procedure.
Circumstances surrounding the shooting are still being investigated. There is no threat to the community. Due to the ongoing investigation, there will be heavy law enforcement presence in the area for several hours.
CIRT includes members of the Pueblo Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol, the Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and PCSO.